Are We There Yet?

a beagle puppy on a leash sitting next to its standing owner

Are We There Yet?

The Dog Training Process

How long will it take for me to see changes when training my pet dog with a professional trainer? When I started training dogs, clients would ask me a version of that question. That is a pretty difficult question because “It depends” is not generally acceptable as an answer. 

What does it depend on? Well, three major elements are responsible for success when studying with a reputable professional dog trainer: the dog trainer/dog training coach, the human client, and the canine client. I will discuss some adversities each element may face. 

The Dog Trainer

Pet dog trainers are normal people. That means we suffer from all the problems that any average person might have. A professional pet dog trainer must be able to put aside those problems and focus on improving the lives of their clients. We must know and understand normal and abnormal dog behavior. We must know how to solve a vast array of problems and provide achievable solutions to our clients. That means we must understand human behavior, be good teachers and coaches, and master teaching different clients with different learning styles. I find my endless curiosity about behavior and how to influence behavior is a great benefit to me as a dog trainer. I am curious about my behavior and the behavior of plants, dogs, cats, other animals, people in groups, and individuals. I teach what I learn to my clients and show them how to use that knowledge to help them with their dogs. I must influence the dog’s environment to be an effective dog trainer. Since the dog does not belong to me, the best way to influence the dog’s environment is to connect with and influence the human client. 

The Human Client

Pet dog owners are also normal people. You know what that means. They must put all that aside and focus on improving their lives with their dogs until the dog’s habitual behavior changes. Pet dog owners generally love dogs, and all of my clients definitely love their dogs. That means that they like spending time with their dog. Pet dog owners tend to call me with either problems or goals. They want their dog to stop doing something or to start doing something. Clients tried to start or stop the behavior on their own but were unsuccessful or knew they did not know how to stop or start it and called for help. This is great for me as a dog trainer because the client is motivated to see change and needs some information and coaching on the best application of the information to make it happen. Sometimes, clients need motivation to get started. While a good trainer can help, some must dig deep to motivate themselves. 

The Canine Client

For me, the dog is the easiest part. They are honest and transparent, and their behavior is predictable. Even the dogs that behave abnormally have predictable patterns that are easy for me to recognize. A dog that looks happy to see you is happy to see you. An organism’s environment greatly affects its behavior. Where the dog is and what is around the dog will heavily influence the dog’s actions, habits, temperament, and personality. The pet dog’s owner creates and acts in their dog’s environment. There are other factors to consider, and these include the dog’s life experience, genetics, and health. Dogs tend to go with the flow, and only a few will strongly resist changes to their environment as long as they are made with confidence and emotional intelligence from the owner. A dog’s owner can change their environment, creating one more conducive to the behaviors and manners the owner wants from the dog.  

So, how long will it take for me to see changes when training my pet dog with a professional trainer? It depends on the quality of information, coaching, and help the client gets from the dog trainer, the motivation and ability to use the new information and skills to change the dog’s environment, and the amount of time it takes the dog to adjust to the changes in their environment. You should see some change as soon as you apply some of the advice given to you. As you spend more time with your dog trainer, they will help you to apply more and see more changes.  

Always remember, the obstacle is the way, and the journey is the reward. The Process Matters Most! For more information, reach out to Argos today! Give us a call or fill out our online contact form